Subscribers to this blog are here for the playthroughs of my very nerdy, procedural, deep, thematic games.
Either that or you’re my wife who’s reading this just because you’re awesome. Thanks honey!
Anyway, today I’m starting a playthrough of a game that’s nerdy, fun…and that’s about it. It’s also FREE! A-yup. With just a bit of printer ink (okay, I guess that makes it not free, and considering the cost of printer ink, probably makes this cost about $60), some dice, some cubes/discs you can play this game too!
And I think you should.
Clearly the game is explained perfectly in the title so I’ll just get started.
In this game, you will pit a squad of random geek related characters against a squad of other random geek related characters into a battle to the death. So if you want to have the Zerg fighting Captain Reynolds while Robocop shoots at the Stargate, this is you game.
Now you see why this game is free. The licensing costs would be astronomical. And if anyone reading this wants to sue…please don’t, the game is fun and you’ll look like a jerk, okay?
Clearly I’m playing the solitaire version of the game, which pits my character against “The Director,” a hideous villain who is going to destroy the world by taking over the minds of other characters. I’m the only one who can stop him. I have 10 turns to deliver the pain, then whomever has the most hitpoints wins.
All games of EvE start with a drafting phase wherein I get to choose my squad of awesome characters. I get to field five of them while one sits back as a sub that I can bring in when someone gets knocked out (or if I just want to retire someone because they’re not doing well).
The Director will also be fielding 5 characters, and will have a number of subs based on how difficult I want to make the game. 1 for Easy, 2 for Normal, 3 for Hard. I’ll go Normal. I’m usually victorious on Easy, but I rarely win Normal games, so this should be fun.
So six stacks of cards are made, and I get to pick one out of each. Let’s take a look at the first:
So I have the Proton from the video game Starcraft, Kirby from various Nintendo games, Watson from the Sherlock Holmes movies, Pikachu from the Pokemon universe and Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise and countless renaissance faires. Yup. There’s a lot of different choices in these games.
Let’s zoom in.
What makes the character different is
- Their type: Human, Cartoon, Machine, Other. The Protoss are aliens, so fall under Other.
- Their health: the Protoss start with 3 health dice, all three at the max value of 6. So that’s pretty healthy.
- Their abilities: If I play a spade, a heart and a club, I can do 6 damage to the character across from the Protoss. That’s a pretty big zap. Also, I can discard any 4 cards to transform them to 1 of each type that I can use to activate someone elses ability. Of course, it zaps the Protoss to do that.
That’s it. Type, Health and Ability. What I have to do with the draft is find the best way to mesh these three things together with the six characters I grab. Now the first card I grab is pretty random since I have no idea what I’ll be grabbing so I’ll just grab what looks fun right now.
I grab Pikachu. Because I choose Pikachu. C’mon. It’s like a law. I was too old for the cartoon, but I still feel compelled.
Let’s take a look at our next group.
Two X-Men! And yes, they’re labeled as Human. How PC of them.
So now we need to see who meshes well with Pikachu. Pikachu uses a diamond and spade to change a boost token (which are used a lot, all they do is provide +1 to any kind of attack) to an electric token. Electric tokens do nothing, but during upkeep they do 1 damage per electric token.
So what I can look for is: Characters that can place boost tokens or characters that also use diamonds and spades. It’s good to have a lot of characters that use the same suits because then you can stack your energy deck in their favor (more on that later).
While Cyclops and Professor X can lay down some serious damage, My Neighbor Totoro has the following powers:
Heart/Diamond: Give 1 boost token to all in play (on both sides). Then heal this character equal to the number of boost tokens given.
Always in effect: When a neighboring character would be damaged, Totoro takes the damage instead. Any other effects of the attack apply to the original target character as normal.
So Totoro lays down a bunch of boost tokens, heals up and then Pikachu turns the enemies’ boost tokens into electric tokens, zapping them all! Sounds like a good combo to me!
Looking good so far, let’s see what we can add next:
Ha! Original series Scotty to modern Bones!
This is a tough one. The good abilities require clubs and spades, and I’ve been avoiding them well. Yoda is pretty awesome, being able to heal 3 damage to all of my characters. Bugs Bunny is also pretty simple and can do damage as well as add boost tokens.
Now that I think about it, relying on all the same card suit may not be too great since I may never use anyone elses powers if I just focus on Pikachu/Totoro. Would I use Bugs if it meant using a heart? Should I get Bones so I do something with different cards? And actually Bones does a little damage, heals a little damage, and can change other cards into Hearts. That might actually prove best.
Yeah, let’s do that….even though deep down I really wanted Bugs Bunny because he’s the best thing ever.
Here’s my next draft. And I’ve played this game..while not a lot, but quite a few times. This is the first time I’ve seen Raistlin, and it makes my nerd heart go all a quiver. Dragonlance was my first fantasy series that I got into. I bought the book for my father because I heard he liked that kind of thing (he was into The Hobbit, so why not?) and he liked it, so I gave it a try.
And now look at me.
And wow, looking at his card, that’s pretty bad ass. Heck with it, I’m taking Raistlin. No more talking. moving on.
Hmmm…Starscream would hurt my own characters…and was a dick in the cartoon. The Borg aren’t as good against The Director because its ability to destroy energy cards doesn’t matter because the Director doesn’t use energy cards. The Mechwarrior needs a lot of black cards which I’m not using a lot of at this point. That leaves Wolverine and Dracula.
Yes, this game makes you think all sorts of awesome sentences like that.
Dracula is great at avoiding damage, doing a little damage and then healing back up. Wolverine is good at healing and dishing out damage. I think Wolverine is better than Dracula. Wow. What an interesting argument to have. Isn’t that what the internet is for? Anyway, let’s go Logan.
Lots of Star Trek represented here today. I like B’Elanna’s ability to draw more energy cards. RoboCop’s ability to drop Web tokens is pretty great, too (makes them unable to do anything for a turn…since they’re in jail). However, I think Link fits my deck the best since it uses all the card types and will do damage all over the enemy row.
Now we have the six characters that stand between The Earth and Certain Doom(tm)
And I am sadly out of time. Let me just grab my deck of energy cards. This is 20 cards from a standard deck of cards where all I care about is the suit. While it could lean one suit over an other, I think getting 5 of each suit will probably do me well. Actually no. I’ll rarely need clubs, so I’ll just take 3 clubs and ramp up my hearts and diamonds by 1.
So I am ready.
Next time, we shall meet The Director.